Whilst in Istanbul, Sultanahmet specifically it would be a shame not to try a Turkish Testi Kebab! Testi is the Turkish word for the clay pot that they cook the kebab in. Which looks like the one below:
The mixture of kebab is inserted into the hole at the top and then covered with aluminium foil and put into hot sand or oven to cook. After thoroughly heating, the kebab is removed from the oven and presented to the guest. A typical Testi Kebab may contain chicken, beef, carrots, celery & potato.
This next step seems to be very much a theatrical performance, which personally we quite enjoyed!
As you can see from the above, the skilled waiter/waitress taps the pot to move the kebab away from the bottom of the pot. Following this, he cracks open the bottom so that kebab can be poured onto a plate on the table.
One thing I haven’t managed to grasp is why it has become tradition to crack open the pot rather than just removing the aluminium from the top? If anyone has ideas post below!
I have the above recorded in the video below, if you have time to view it!
Important Tip! As of September 2017 the price of a Testi Kebab was 70TL in Sultanahmet. This Kebab was enough for two people. We also saw other restaurants selling the same thing for 200TL. Worth checking menus before you sit down.